Rosie O'Donnell on Talk Show Comeback: 'We're Not Going To Look For Controversy'

OWN’s The Rosie Show will not be a retread of The Rosie O’Donnell Show. That’s the message Rosie O’Donnell drove home to reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills on Friday.

“It’s going to be different,” O’Donnell said of her new five-times-a-week program, which will debut on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network on Monday, October 10 at 7/6c. One big change: She won’t be fawning over A-listers like Barbra Streisand and Tom Cruise. “I’m 50, and both of those people have stayed in my house… My enthusiasm for celebrities has changed and evolved.”

That said, her new gabfest — which she describes as a hybrid reality/talk/variety show — will feature one celeb guest per episode, provided “they have something to talk about and want to come play.” Other regular features will include an opening monologue, audience segments and “a fun game.”

O’Donnell — who likened landing a show on Winfrey’s fledgling network “to being knighted in a way” — will also tackle current events, but don’t expect any screaming matches à la The View. “As things come up in life and in the world [we’ll address them],” she said. “We’re not going to look for controversy.”

Unlike her new boss, O’Donnell confessed, “I am not aspirational. I’m inspirational in that the people at home can relate to me.” And how are they similar? “We both have an insatiable curiosity for the nature of human existence.”

O’Donnell’s dream Week 1 guests include comedian Russell Brand and recording artist Adele.